From AgAlert Agriculture and business groups are imploring Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature to set clear goals for boosting water storage and supplies as the drought threatens to cripple California’s food, energy and housing sectors.

“Our existing water system can no longer deliver the water necessary to sustain the world’s fifth-largest economy,” the California Farm Bureau and nearly two dozen farm and business groups wrote in a June 14 letter to the state’s executive and legislative branches. “California must establish a clear target to increase its surface water supply to meet current and future needs for human consumption and a growing economy,” said the letter, whose signatories included California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson. Danny Merkley, Farm Bureau’s director of water resources, said Farm Bureau signed the letter because “it is time to sound the alarm.” “It has been seven-and-a-half years since the voters of California overwhelmingly passed Proposition 1 with $2.7 billion for the public-benefit portion of new water storage, and yet not $1 has yet to be spent on the construction of new storage,” Merkley said. “If Newsom is sincere about California’s water resilience, he will work with the Legislature to get funding out the door right now to upgrade our aging water infrastructure for today’s 21st-century realities. We cannot conserve our way out of it.” (more)